By Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Governor of Bayelsa State , Mr. Seriake Dickson, yesterday lambasted the federal government for serially undermining his authority as the Chief Security Officer of the state, maintaining that the government at the centre was playing politics with the stability of the oil-rich state.
Dickson who spoke during a media chat in Yenagoa, capital of the state, said that rather than giving him intelligence information, many of the security heads were in the habit of feeding leaders of the opposition with information that should be made available to him (the governor).
He noted that because the federal government and its security agencies view Bayelsa as a state that must be conquered, his position as the governor of the state was being sidelined when it comes to the issue of security and law and order.
“You can see that the interest the federal government has in the stability of this state. A state we have managed to return to peace and is crucial to the maintenance of regional peace.
“The concern of the federal government of Nigeria is more of a political conquest than maintenance of law and order. They have undermined the security of this state in a way that a number of people don’t know.
“I am the governor whose authority has been most undermined in the country in the area of maintenance of law and order and security management. They are not interested in peace” he charged.
Governor Dickson disclosed that he was in possession of reports of security commanders in Abuja calling militants and cultists in the state to attack innocent communities.
“I have records that indicate that security commanders in Abuja’s will be calling militants and criminals, telling them to attack communities. These people are protected by the Nigerian security establishment.
“The king of Peremabiri is still carrying a bullet in his head and many have been killed and thrown away. The Nigeria security has become the armed wing of the ruling party. This is sad,” the governor lamented.
He added that voters were not sure of their security in the next set of elections in the state because the security forces had become deeply partisan.
According to the governor: “We have to be concerned about the safety of our voters first before anything else. It is the job of security agencies to guarantee the safety of voters. A country where lives and property are not protected is a failed state.
“In this country, we have had several instances where security men and women in uniform collude with criminal and terrorist in rigging elections and undermine the peace and stability of states like Bayelsa”
Meanwhile, Dickson yesterday inaugurated a commission to probe the illegal use of surveillance contractors to breach the peace of the state.
While swearing in the panel led by Justice Margaret Akpomiemie (rtd), the governor gave the committee 21 days to turn in the report which he said should look into those involved in surveillance contracts from oil companies and their mode of operation.
“From 2015 till now, we have seen the activities of certain persons and corporate entities who say they are surveillance contractors operating and reporting to people we don’t know.
“We are concerned about reports of infractions on the rights of our people and claims of communities being destabilised. So, we want to know their identity, what they do and how they do it. There are people who claim to be exercising governmental powers and authority not known to the state”.
He urged the panel to ascertain the mode of operation of the contractors and whether they conform to the laws of the state and the country.